Breast cancer is a very scary and stressing malignance that is feared by most women. No survivor of this deadly cancer would ever want it back. Sadly, a recent study release suggests that patients have to continue taking breast cancer suppressing drugs to prevent it from recurring for as long as 20 years. Through the study, researchers found the rather high possibility of cancer recurrence in patients who stopped taking the drugs.
The study was aimed at providing enough evidence on whether the survivors of breast cancer can skip the drugs that reduces the recurrence chances of breast tumors. What was discovered, however, is that even in patients with low-risk cancer recurrence, there was a chance of recurrence in the 15 to 20 years after the initial incidence. All the survivors of breast cancer therefore have to think deeply before opting out of their medication.
Estrogen is a feminine hormone that can contribute to the development of breast cancer. Suppressing it remains an efficient preventing measure and can considerably reduce the chances of cancer recurrence. Women who have ever suffered from the estrogen-positive cancer should therefore consider sticking to those hormone blockers, even despite their usual side effects. Accordin to the oncologist Dr. Jennifer Litton, the estrogen-positive cancer of the breast is a lifelong risk. It therefore has the chances of recurring again in your life and should be approached with an almost unending therapy.
In the study, breast cancer was seen recurring 2 decades later in a certain number of women who had taken similar cancer drugs for about 5 years. The drugs they were taking had the ability to reduce cancer recurrence. Indeed, in the first 5 years cancer did not resurface in any of those women. However, in the next 5 to 20 years the risk of cancer recurrence started appearing in other body parts (such as the lungs, bones or liver).
The study has proved the importance of extending endocrine therapy for more than just 5 years. It has, however, not been clear if the therapy should be extended by all women. The risk of breast cancer recurrence seems possible to most survivors, but that risk is not equal in different women. Cancer recurrence risk relates to the characteristics of the original occurrence of the disease. Higher recurrence risks are associated with women who had large tumors or had their cancer spread to more than three lymph nodes. Those who had no lymph nodes affected by cancer, have a 10 percent lower risk of cancer recurrence.